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Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – September 25, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 220 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Harper Connelly Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Harris's winning second supernatural caper to feature Harper Connelly (after 2005's Grave Sight), a skeptical anthropology professor, Clyde Nunley, tests Harper's gift of clairvoyance in a historic Memphis cemetery, where Harper correctly senses a fresh corpse in the wrong grave. Strangely, the body turns out to be a missing 12-year-old girl, Tabitha Morgenstern, whom Harper failed to locate in Nashville on a case two years earlier. The hotel suite of Harper and her manager and stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, both of whom fall under suspicion, becomes a magnet for a medley of amusing characters, including Memphis cops, Tabitha's assorted relatives and a drunken Clyde Nunley, who, shortly after accusing Harper of fraud, is found dead in the same grave as Tabitha. Peppered with the author's trademark deadpan wit, this book should help make Harper and Tolliver as popular as Sookie Stackhouse, the heroine of Harris's vampire mystery series (Definitely Dead, etc.). Author tour. (Sept. 26)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

After Harper Connelly was struck by lightning as a teenager, she developed an unusual ability--she is able to locate bodies and see how the victims died, although she cannot identify the murderers. Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, are at Bingham College doing a demonstration for a class, identifying bodies and causes of death in an old graveyard, when Harper finds the body of Tabitha Morgenstern, a kidnapped young girl she had failed to locate months ago. To clear their names--the police consider Harper and Tolliver suspects in the crime--they set out to find the real killer. Harper and Tolliver are likable, well-developed characters whose unhappy past binds them together as they care for one another and work together. Harper craves normalcy as she wonders whether her talent is a gift or a curse. The supernatural elements are integrated believably into the plot in this engrossing mystery, the second in a series. Sue O'Brien
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (September 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425214702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425214701
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By ellen VINE VOICE on September 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I must tell you I didn't quite like Grave Sight, the debut book of this series. But, this sequel, Grave Surprise, fell into place and looks to be another great series for Harris.
Harper and her half-brother Tolliver tried to find Tabitha Morgenstern in the past, and while doing a demonstration in a Memphis cemetery 2 years later, find her in an old grave. The mystery deepens as the police, FBI, and family of the lost girl as well as Harper and Tolliver deal with the mystery of how did the child end up from Nashville to Memphis.
The relationship between Harper and Tolliver is believable, though complex. What I felt in the shadows of the first book was confirmed in this book. The writing is crisp and well paced. The only thing I don't like in any book is longer chapters. But if that is the only minus..no prob.
I will look forward to more in this series.
And the Southern Vampire series we all love.
Grave Surprise is a good read.
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Format: Hardcover
Grave Surprise (2006) is the second fantasy mystery novel in the Harper Connelly series, following Grave Sight. In the previous volume, the final confrontation and shootout exposes the secrets of almost everybody. Harper and Tolliver are lucky to get out of town alive.

In this novel, Harper is hired to give a demonstration for an occult studies class in a newly documented graveyard in Memphis, Tennessee. The contract is issued by Bingham College for the class of Professor Clyde Nonley. As far as Harper is concerned, the Professor is a professional jerk.

The graveyard is on the grounds of the college and a detailed list of burials and causes of death had been discovered about three months previously. At first, the professor enjoys directing Harper from grave to grave, but her detailed answers to his queries are beginning to upset his preconceptions. Then he directs her to a grave up against the fence around the cemetery.

At first, Harper declares the occupant to be a young girl and the professor gleefully states that she is wrong. Then Harper notices that another set of bones lies in a coffin below the girl's body. Then she suddenly recognizes the identity of the most recent body.

Tabitha Morgenstern had disappeared in Nashville about eighteen months prior to her rediscovery. Harper had been called in a month after the disappearance and had followed every possible lead within the Nashville area before giving up on the case. Maybe the body had been in Memphis even before she had started her search.

In this story, Joel Morgenstern and his first wife were originally from Memphis, but had moved to Nashville during their marriage.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think Ms. Harris has found her footing with this second mystery in this series. While I enjoyed and recommnended the first book, the mystery was a bit all over the place. However, in this one she has created a tighter mystery that is both a bit ghastly and intriguing. I guessed who before the end but not exactly why.

Harper and Tolliver are interesting characters and I think bringing in Xzylda and Manfred was a very good idea. I hope they appear again in the future. Harris has a way of surprising the reader with who the good guys in the world are.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second book in the Harper Connelly Mystery series.

When Harper Connelly was a young girl she was struck by lightning. Since the lightning strike there are several oddities that are now a normal part of her life; weakness in one of her legs, a spider web pattern on her leg, headaches and oh yeah, she can locate dead people. If Harper is in a reasonable distance of a corpse she can find its exact location and see the deceased's final moments.

Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver, travel to Memphis to hold a demonstration of her talents at a very old cemetery whose records have just been located. Professor Nunley brings her out there thinking to prove her a charlatan in front of his class, only to have Harper accurately name the deceased and their causes of death. When she stumbles on a recent burial of a young girl, the professor thinks he has won. But, of course, Harper is right and memories of a case she wasn't able to solve come flooding back when she knows she finally found the poor girls body.

Harper and Tolliver are then the center of a media storm as Harpers gift is scrutinized and the search for the killer begins...

I admit to being a little put off by the unusually close relationship Harper and Tolliver seem to share. I don't know why, maybe it's because I have a brother and if he did half the things that Tolliver does, I'd scream, flee, then vomit... and I am sure the feeling is mutual. During the first book, Grave Sight (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 1), I had to repeat "they are step siblings; there is no blood between them." I think half way through this book I finally got over it.
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